My name is Alec Vance. I’m the founder of Backporch Revolution and I’ve been making music in New Orleans since around 1999 with an assortment of friends as Chef Menteur. Before that, in the mid-90s, I lived in North Carolina and played in a handful of bands, being the leader of Ophelia’s Backporch Revolution and Shinola. I spent quality formative years in Paris, London, and especially Dublin which I still miss almost every day.
This blog was inpsired by a friend’s challenge to be more prolific (and public, presumably impelling the former) with my solo musical meanderings. It will be all over the place from acoustic folk stylings to analog drones to computer music.
A late-blooming guitar player, a little later I found a ’65 Farfisa Mini Compact (the discovery of running that through a wah pedal and Electro Harmonix Memory Man analog delay pedal blew my mind, man) and over the years, a gradual variety of other (mostly stringed) instruments, effects, and software. Recent fascinations are often old ones, too: banjo, 12-string guitar, electric piano, open tunings, phasers, looping, delay. New ones: dumbek, Max/MSP, monome.
I’m not sure yet how consistent I’ll be with the quality of stuff that makes it here; usually when I have the free time I’m working on one of my other musical projects, including the Backporch Revolution site itself.
The name aleatoric I came across while reading about “In C”, and despite being a little hard to spell seems to pretty well encompass my fascination with random- and semi-random systems of patterns of music; not unlike improvisations upon a theme; arpeggios, rags, ragas, drift studies, and so forth. There is a certain magic, deus ex machina, if you’ll permit, in setting up a system and then interacting with it in unexpected and surprisingly organic ways. An improvisation is not technically aleatoric, but it appeals to my mind in many of the same ways. The secret to a rewarding improvisation (at least to me, as a player) is having the skills to play all the right notes, but to conjure up or allow the subconscious forces to use you in a way that allows the notes to flow in ways that you yourself don’t expect.
Still here? See the first post for more introductory info.